Advice on getting visible ab definition? 32 yof, 5'7 and 131 pounds

I lost about 24 pounds this past year and have been working on increasing lifting to at least 3x per week ( deadlifts (now up to 145 pounds), squats now up to body weight) and upping my protein intake. I've also been doing HITT 2-3 times a week and then running 3 miles 4-5 times per week. My goal is to get visible abs, not a full blown 6 pack but at least some visible definition. I'm not sure if I should continue cutting a bit more, or if I just need to increase lifting and grow muscle. I have a hard time estimating my body fat as well to really tell if I have gotten somewhat lean or not. Here are a few pics of where I am currently:


  • ecjim
    ecjim Posts: 960 Member
    I will echo Sardelsa's advice with the addition of some specific ab training - hanging leg raises, ab roll out, etc 2-3 daays per week after your squats & deadlifts. Good job on the weight loss. You are on the right track. You will need to build some muscle for those abs to pop . What program are you following?
  • mmcghee33
    mmcghee33 Posts: 3 Member
    I'm doing strong lifts 5x5, aiming for 3X per week but definitely need to be more consistent. I've also been doing OrangeTheory HITT workouts 2 times a week and then running with my dogs about 4 times per week, usually 2-3 miles. I throw in abs with bosu ball workouts and madfit videos, 2-3 times per wk. If I'm low on time, I tend to do more cardio focused workouts and less lifting, but I probably need to focus more on lifting
  • ecjim
    ecjim Posts: 960 Member
    edited December 2020
    You have a lot going on -you may want to ease up on the HITT , that will help with recovery.
    Strong Lifts is a good place to start - run it as long as you are making progress, increasing the weight, reset when you have to. You can add some abs at the end of the workout. If you have trouble increasing the weight on a exercise you can increase the reps for 1 or 2 sessions until you own the weight , then increase it. Keep records - date - sets - reps & weight so you will know if you are progressing
  • MidlifeCrisisFitness
    MidlifeCrisisFitness Posts: 1,113 Member
    3 things are needed to have popping abs.
    1. Low enough bodyfat
    2. Muscles there under the fat to show when you get low enough
    3. Genetics - Some people's show easily some people's do not.

    As for exercise I would avoid planks and crunches. I would humbly suggest the following:

    Stability Ball pullovers
    (works abs, traps, glutes and triceps, (use full range motion)

    Discovered this exercise by accident. Absolutely the best exercise for Ab Hypertrophy. Dropped hip, table top, legs together, legs apart all hit different parts of the abs. I don't do sit-ups or planks any longer. Also if you bring the dumbbell a little closer to your bellybutton it really works your lower abs. Just don't drop the dumbbell on yourself.

    Build your chest and arms.

    Love my ball!
    IAMFFL Posts: 58 Member
    Great job on the weight loss and staying active! Truly impressive. I can't see the pics but I agree with Sardelsa regarding the lifting advice and KHMcG regarding the body fat and genetics. I also agree with ecjim that ab specific exercises work well - hanging leg raises and ab roll out are two of my favorites! Don't forget abs are made in the kitchen. You've already had great weight loss success. The body is resilient and you sometimes hit a plateau. I see you are upping your protein intake but you might need a slight readjustment in your other macros and/or calories as well. Nothing significant, just a minor tweak. It works great for me when I'm trying to see abs and/or make them pop.
  • natasor1
    natasor1 Posts: 271 Member
    You look good, slim, but not muscular. By looking at your pics hard to say that you dead lift 145 lb. It may be few reasons for that: not enough time length of training (I means mature muscles develope for years). Can be too much cardio, especially on the day of strength training. Remember, if you develope muscles, don't enerfere with the growth by breaking them the same day with running. Human body is very adoptable. It will look exactly the way you train it. For example, if you lounge on the coach long time, your body will look exactly like blob of fat, this is most comfortable for your body state to adopt in the soft surface without motion. Another side of the adoptation can be seen on long styier runners, who systematically vin marathones. Remember how they look?... From the other hand, workers, who moved, grind and carry stones look very muscular and ripped.
    You just pick the way you want to look and spend your presiouse time on specific style of exerciseng. Build your body your way
  • elfin168
    elfin168 Posts: 197 Member
    Abs on bodyfat. Everyone has abs. Cant necessarily see them. Bulk up what you have with weighted crunches etc